Ever since gaming took the world of entertainment by storm, issues related to gaming have dominated online discussion forums. Like it is with most entertainment modes, the pitfalls of gaming are highlighted way more than the benefits arising therefrom.
Be it video games or an online casino with PayPal, it is always better to have a set of guidelines that ensure a safe gaming environment. This has resulted in a new phrase being coined, which is ‘responsible gaming.’ Even though this word is used a lot these days, its meaning is not clear to many. Hence, this post.
What is Responsible Gaming?
At the outset, it is important to mention that the concept of responsible gaming is still evolving, and there is no one definition that does justice to the term. However, based on a broad consensus among stakeholders, responsible gaming can be defined as a set of guidelines or regulations that may be mandated by the government or agreed upon between the parties to protect people from the harmful effects of gambling. It is also known as Responsible Gambling.
These principles are applicable not just to the online gaming world (though the advent of online betting games may have been the trigger point for their development). Responsible gaming principles discussed below apply equally to gaming activity that takes place in a traditional physical set-up.
In layman’s terms, responsible gaming aims to ensure that players have an awareness that they are responsible for their actions while indulging in gaming. Further, the organizations that provide gaming services are conscious of the fact that they are responsible for providing a safe environment.
Principles of Responsible Gaming
The list of principles of responsible gaming discussed below is by no means an exhaustive one. Care has been taken to include those principles which have a remarkable bearing on gamers. Let’s get started.
- Realize the cons – Gaming or gambling as an activity is very addictive once you get the hang of it. In most cases, people start betting online after they see someone else win big. Responsible gaming ensures that newbies are first made aware of the realities of playing such games.
An important component of this principle is spreading awareness about the fact that it is difficult to keep winning in any game of chance. Gaming or gambling must be projected as a recreational activity rather than a way to make tons of money.
This will ensure that people do not enter the gaming arena with preconceived notions about winning big and treat it with the caution it deserves.
- Encourage the use of limits – Not many people who play betting games online are aware that you can set limits in sportsbooks that you use. This limit can be based on a certain amount beyond which you will not play in a day.
Responsible gaming encourages the use of limits by all concerned so that players do not get carried away in what is known as chasing losses. This refers to a situation when you keep playing even if you lose in the hope that you will eventually win and recover your losses.
The use of limits helps prevent the development of compulsive gambling.
- Restrict underage gambling – It goes without saying that parental supervision is key to preventing underage gambling, but responsible gaming principles require that gaming organizations do their due diligence at the entry point to restrict it.
In most jurisdictions, it is illegal for minors to take part in gambling. Thus, it is the responsibility of the various gambling places as well as platforms to verify that all players are above 18 years of age and that no one is hoodwinking the system.
- Availability of resources – In an ideal world, all people spending their valuable time in online or physical betting games realize the risks associated with such games and also their odds of winning. This also includes information about the various rules and policies of gaming platforms.
The reality, however, is stark. Responsible gaming principles are an attempt to change this. The onus is put on the various platforms to provide gamers with the required information about the risks associated with betting as well as various steps that they can take to play responsibly.
The spread of access to high-speed internet connectivity will only lead to more people playing online games of all kinds. Responsible gaming is most definitely the need of the hour. Laws will also need to update themselves so as to remain relevant.